Posted by Sarah Woods.
It’s been one year six months and one day since we moved onto this small 34 foot boat (about 10 metres long).
I remember when Carlos first suggested that we and our two kids aged 6 and 3 at the time, move onto his fathers small boat that he had built to cruise the canals of Europe.
My husband comes up with all kinds of hair brain ideas on a regular basis but this one sounded beyond comprehension even by his standards. I thought the look on my face, which would have killed a handful of kittens, would have been enough for him to never mention such an epically stupid idea again.
So why did he suggest going from a large 3 story home to a teeny tiny boat with no cabins and limited storage? I will have to go back to a few months earlier when we were forced to shut down our construction company just like so many other builders have had to do since the GFC.
It all happened so fast and was all so surreal, having your whole life turned upside down in almost an instant. I had a strange mix of feelings when we had to drop our car off at the auction yard. Walking to the train station, Carlos carrying the kids car seat and our three year old son on his shoulders, I remember very well, thinking to myself “my god, this is what it feels like to loose everything”, followed by an unexpected comforting feeling of total freedom.
After handing in our car it was then the task of trying to sell our house on our own terms instead of the bank just taking it. By then I was a complete wreak, not knowing what was the right way to deal with what was going on. It was if two pressure systems had collided inside me creating the perfect storm. Some people thought I was coping ok but I was seeing a phycologist weekly and taking medication for severe depression.
I’m going to admit it I wanted to die.
Everything was crap. You’re cruising along the highway of life checking off the boxes of things you needed to accomplish or acquire, thinking if you are a good person then good things will happen to you.
Then life turns around and king hits you right between the eyes.
Everything you have done, thought and imagined up to that point is seriously questioned. The unfortunate part is I hit rock bottom trying to make sense of everything that had happened.
I’m glad I didn’t opt out of life and I’m really really glad I agreed to move onto the boat after Carlos changed tack and offered it as a temporary solution. Sometimes the things you would flat out refuse doing turn into one of the best things you may ever do. After the two weeks had gone by I had no intention of moving back into a house.
Floor plan sketch of ‘Summer Dream’. I know I will never be a designer of boats.
The dormant seed that was first planted years ago when we first met had been brought back to life. It’s funny how you have these grand plans for the future and somehow they become just like a dream you had the night before and just can’t seem to recall. When that dream is remembered again and starts to grow, it’s the most amazing feeling. It’s like a second chance at living the life you were always meant to live. You just know it when that familiar feeling of raw energy comes flooding back into your veins.
It’s like ”aahh”, there’s that feeling again. I haven’t felt ‘that’ feeling in years.
Living on this tiny boat has made me realise that we don’t need much to live a great life. Cutting out all the things that we thought we needed has been an amazing eye opener. The boat has also made us question everything we buy. Do we really need that? Do we have room for that? Anytime something comes onto the boat, something usually has to come off.
My clothes jammed into the wardrobe and where we keep the kids (kidding).
We are currently living in our dream. I know it all sounds really airy fairy and all that, but we truly are in our dream. Moving to the amazing Magnetic Island, the start of our adventure to sail the world and do amazing things that matter.
This is not the boat that we will set sail in of couse it’s designed for the flat waters of the canals of Europe after all, but soon enough we will have our own modest sail boat and that will suit me fine.